, Newburyport, MA


December 11, 2013

Dressed in holiday style

20th anniversary house tour highlights High Street, High Road homes


When Petrillo first saw the home in 2007, she knew she wanted “to bring it back to the day when it was grand.”

“I just had to save it,” she said.

She spent 21/2 years renovating the house that had been converted into apartments, turning it back into a single-family. She first showed off her work on the 2010 Holiday House Tour, which she enjoyed so much that she was happy to participate again this year.

“It’s a lot of fun, and it’s a good cause,” Petrillo said. “I’m happy to do it because it’s (the museum’s) largest fundraiser for the entire year. Maritime history for Newburyport is very, very special.”

Two floors of Petrillo’s home will be open to the public, with greens and decorations festooning every mantel and each room boasting a different theme. One Christmas tree is decorated in only blue and white to match her guest suite. Another is all black and white, while a third features birds.

“I like to surprise people when they walk room to room,” Petrillo said. “I have a little bit of whimsy here and there. If I can make them laugh by doing something silly with decorations, I’ll do it.”

For lifelong Newburyport resident Meghan Santos, finding a home within walking distance to the downtown was a dream come true. She and her husband, Mike, purchased the Italianate Victorian at 80 High St. six years ago and moved in just before Christmas in 2009.

“I grew up all over Newburyport,” Meghan Santos said. “I knew I wanted to be on this end of town.”

The Santoses were careful to preserve the historic design of the 1850 home, including saving three tin ceilings and much of the woodwork, while updating it with the latest smart house technology.

“We were just really cautious to make it so you couldn’t tell where the old and new began,” Meghan Santos said.

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